The past few months have seen a significant downturn in the amount of bro-country being thrown mercilessly at our tender eardrums. With the exception of the clueless Florida-Georgia Line, most artists have learned that the public has grown tired of the party that never ends from artists who never grow up. Apparently, Luke Bryan missed the memo. After announcing his latest Spring Break EP would be is last, there were thoughts that maybe he was finally going to attempt to put out some songs of substance as he did on his first two albums. We were wrong. Luke’s new single is an uninspired, unoriginal, and unbalanced mess that further pushes the genre towards irrelevancy.
“Kick The Dust Up” has nothing of merit or substance to redeem it. The biggest selling point of bro-country has always been the catchy hooks. As bad as the songs may be, no one can deny the “catchiness” of songs like “Cruise” and “Boys Round Here”. “Kick The Dust Up” has no said catchiness. The song stumbles along and doesn’t really flow smoothly. The verses try to be deep (and fail miserably) while the chorus has the lyrical stylings of a 4 year old who hasn’t started Hooked On Phonics yet. Of course, a turd of this magnitude comes from the likes of Dallas Davidson, the prince of the bro-country porta-john. Musically, this is just more rhythm based pop music that throws in a strangely tuned banjo. There is nothing about this song that qualifies it for country music, besides the asinine references to farm life. My family has been involved in farming for generations. Somehow, in all my years, I failed to see these pasture parties every weekend that these songs perpetuate. When my dad finished plowing rows from dawn till dusk, he came home and collapsed from exhaustion, only to get up and do it again. Paying the bills was the goal, not buying more liquor. But hey, guess I’m not as country as Luke.
As far as its place in country music today, I’m not sure this song will work. It seems like everything Luke touches turns to gold lately. However, as any former famous artist can tell you, that doesn’t last forever. Luke has decided to live and die by bro-country. Whether or not that is a wise decision will play out over the next few weeks. When you are an artist who has strong convictions and traditions you live by, going down with the ship is a noble and just cause. When you are a walking commercial like Luke Bryan who is more of an income-based asset to a corporation rather than a real artist, you need to keep up with the times. Luke is on top of the world, but he may not be for long. Sam Hunt and others may be next in line to the country throne, and God save us all if that happens.
All in all, “Kick The Dust Up” is a massive disappointment much like Florida-Georgia Line’s latest album. You’d have to figure these guys would either find their soul and make some music that matters, or sell out harder and further to “push the envelope”. Instead, both artists have just released more of the same, but with less appeal and even more mundane lyrics. If I’m a traditionalist, I hate this song, because it isn’t country. If I’m a casual mainstream fan, I hate this song because it isn’t catchy. If I am a diehard Luke Bryan fan, I hate this song because Luke is capable of so much more and has proven it in the past. Basically, this song tried to be a song for everybody, and wound up being a song for nobody. Funny how that works out. Stay clear of “Kick The Dust Up” as much as you can, and find something with some meat on it instead.